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Brexit: Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration - Motion to Take Note (2nd Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 12:20 pm on 6th December 2018.

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Photo of Lord Hain Lord Hain Labour 12:20 pm, 6th December 2018

My Lords, I echo everything that the noble Baroness, Lady Humphreys, has said, especially speaking as she did so well about Wales.

Last week, the Government finally admitted that any form of Brexit will make the nation poorer. The Prime Minister is therefore offering Parliament a false choice: vote for her flawed deal, which would deliver only less control, more uncertainty and a cliff edge within a couple of years over a new trade deal; or face a truly catastrophic no deal. But there are better choices. Parliament should therefore reject the Government’s draft withdrawal agreement, together with the political declaration about the future relationship. This so- called ambitious text is riddled with ambiguity and contradictions, and offers absolutely no guarantees whatever about future trade relations with the EU in the longer term.

There has been so much bluster and ignorance by Brexiteers. For example, in airily claiming that all will be well on the night, the noble Lord, Lord Lilley, shows no real understanding of WTO non-discrimination rules, which would prohibit sector-specific deals and prevent the EU granting the UK a preferential agreement on tariffs in comparison with other non-EU states once we have left. Furthermore, WTO rules do not adequately cover many important sectors, notably services, which form 80% of the UK economy. The EU’s own preparedness notices make it clear—